So, we are in Madison, and checked into the Concourse. Don’t know yet who else is in town. Right now it’s just Jack and myself; Sarah arrives sometime tomorrow. At the moment, we are waiting on room service (haven’t eaten more than a small, bus-friendly snack since early breakfast on the train, due to train delays rushing us through Chicago Union Station in all of 10 minutes) and decompressing. We might look for other congoers to link up with later tonight, particularly if anyone’s in the lounge
The train ride was a bit of a test run for future train rides. It was our first one together and the longest train ride either of us has been on lately. It had its ups and downs. I had expected to be able to do some creative work, but everything about the experience was just on the edge of being comfortable/convenient enough for that to be realistic.
Among other things, my presentation has changed quite a bit since the heyday of my previous train rides, which made it a lot harder to be left to my own devices in the lounge/observation car in the wee hours of the night. We’re looking at options for future trips like getting a sleeper roomette for slightly more privacy.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.
We got to do flowers! With a range of fairly realistic to very expressive, we could pick whichever one we wanted to do.
I did a fairly realistic tiger lily first, but i had a free hour so I did the expressive water lily.
It was... not great...
In comparison, I much prefer the tiger lily lol. Might have to redo the expressive one.
Not quite as clever as he thought he was ...
(Shouldn't that billboard be advertising water ballast for dirigibles?)
I am trepidacious, and also excited.
So, we just spent basically the entire day at the historic, picturesque train station of historic, picturesque Harpers Ferry because our historic, picturesque inn had an 11:00 a.m. checkout time and our train had a 5:16 p.m. departure and historic, picturesque train stations don’t have any place to check or stow your luggage.
We’d come prepared. We had things to read and our electronics and sufficient battery power to overcome any historically picturesque lack of outlets, and as long as one of us stayed put to watch our things it wasn’t hard to go up the hill into town in search of takeout lunch and drinks.
I’m glad that we did have so much time there, because when we’d reconnoitered the station I had completely missed that the tiny station had two platforms, one on the far side of the tracks inside a much smaller, slightly less picturesque historical shelter, with no obvious way of reaching it without (crossing the tracks.
Now, this historic, picturesque station has a historic, picturesque lack of signage indicating things like which platform is for which direction, or how the other platform is reached. I knew that trains follow the keep right rule in the U.S. (or at least, I *thought* they did, but that knowledge had never been important to me before), but I didn’t know which compass direction was which, or if the trains passing through on this stretch would be strictly going east-west at the moment.
So I searched online to see if there was any mention of the platforms. Amtrak’s website informed me that the stairs to the other platform were under the tracks and not wheelchair accessible (their official advice, enshrined in their website, is to board at another station.) So I knew what to look for, and I found a smaller shelter at the end of the main building with stairs leading down into the tunnel where Slenderman lives, which came out the other side in the small platform. I looked around for signage; there was none.
By sheer chance we were there when the Capitol Limited to D.C. went through on the near tracks, which was a pretty good clue that they were the eastbound lane. I’d been on the Twitter horn with @Amtrak, who confirmed that my train would be on the opposite side, and that they do follow the right hand driving rule in these parts.
At the same time, Jack had the bright idea of opening Pokemon Go, which helpfully includes a compass. and let us find east and west. So we had triple confirmation.
Almost enough to quiet my anxiety, so I carefully noted that every train heading east was on the near track and every train heading west was on the far track, just in case they didn’t have some weird track switching thing going on or had harnessed the power of ghost trains that can go through each other,.
Remember, babies, we showed up in town a whole day early in order to make sure that everything went according to plan. My first train trip (Omaha to Chicago, Chicago to Memphis and then New Orleans) I did something similar, staying overnight in Chicago just to make sure I made my first connection on my first train trip.
When I’m anxious about something, I give myself plenty of time and I seek out information, from as many angles as possible. (This might be why I’m so relatively well-informed about politics these days.)
So we made the decision to mosey on over through the tunnel where Slenderman lives at about 4:30, which was well more time than we’d need but would ensure we could take it nice and slow with our bags up and down the steps and not feel like we were cutting it close.
Right around about 4, other people started showing up for the same train, including a gentleman with a bike who had apparently *also* scouted the location the day before. “Don’t worry, the train is on time as of now,” he told me.
I have phone alerts, so I’d known this, but we thanked him. He’d checked the day before and it had been delayed by more than an hour. We told him we were getting ready to go move over to the platform, and this is when he told us it was impossible to know which track it would be on.
“Amtrak doesn’t own the tracks, so they are at the mercy of the freight train companies.”
I tried to explain that this might be true, but the tracks are still directional so there was in effect only one track here, with two lanes, but he wasn’t interested. He’d talked to Amtrak and they’d told him that “The only way to know for sure is to look down the tunnel when you see the train coming, and see which side it’s on.”
I told him we’d also talked to Amtrak, but he wasn’t impressed.
So we took our luggage down the stairs and into the tunnel where Slenderman lives and we hauled them up the stairs and settled in for the 30-40 minute wait, while he stood with his bike on the other side looking smug and self-satisfied. Two other guys showed up while we waited, and the guy quizzed them about what side they thought the train would come on, and each time they assumed it would be the near side and he called across the track to tell us “This guy’s pretty sure it’s over here.”
“On what basis?” I asked the first time.
Didn’t really get an answer, but it seemed like all three guys thought this was hilarious. It kind of felt like the biggest reason they thought they were right was that we thought otherwise.
Being questioned usually doesn’t do much for my anxiety, but in this case it just hardened my resolve to know that this guy Had Been Told By Amtrak.
Babies, I have done enough customer service and customer service-adjacent work to know that the answer he got was the We Are Not Responsible answer. There are a lot of stations, a lot of stations with a lot of tracks, and a CSR on the phone cannot tell him in advance which track he’s got to be at because They Are Not Responsible for that.
Very possibly he expressed disbelief that they couldn’t tell him, at which point he would have been given the explanation that Amtrak doesn’t own the tracks or make the decisions. Very possibly he would have asked them what he’s supposed to do, and would have been told that he could watch the train as it approached. And very possibly, he filed away this hard-won knowledge as gospel writ, because he had prised it from the stubborn jaws of a lazy, no-nothing phone rep.
Of course the westbound train came on the far tracks, the northern side of the station, the side we were on. And of course the gentleman with the bike and the other two gentlemen (both apparently cis and white) who chuckled along with him at our stubborn foolishness made their own hurried treks through the tunnel where Slenderman lives to join us.
Sometimes, it’s nice to be right.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.
I'm trying to pull together a spur of the moment trip to WicCon and I'm hoping to find someone looking for a roommate. This will be my first WisCon and I'm hoping for a last minute miracle. Did someone if your group have to drop out unexpectedly? Or do you know someone who needs a roommate? I can happily fill the slot!
I'm a 41 y/o cis queer woman (she/hers) non-smoker, courteous and quiet. New to WisCon but not new to cons in general (I've attended WindyCon and Capricon regularly for the last few years) Hoping to experience my first WisCon this year! Can you help me out? Shoot me an email at amyshy at gmail dot com.
Thanks in advance!
Well, as so often happens in life and in game design, our attempts to make things simpler created a few complications. The inn in Harper’s Ferry has a great view of the train station, but the direct route from point A to point B would involve many steep stairs, so we’re going to have to take our luggage the long way around a dog leg. Speaking of steps, the inn (housed in buildings that predate the Civil War) has staircases that were not built with modern luggage in mind.
We’ve decided we definitely would like to stay here in the future for an overnight or weekend getaway, but whatever difficulty lining up a ride to the train station would be will still be easier than our solution here. And of course as I type this up it occurs to me that for the money we’re spending on a night here plus the added meals, I could have hired a car.
Still, it’s not like the money is wasted, because the night in Harper’s Ferry and the meals are experiences that wouldn’t have come with the car ride. Also, even if this was more of a ~*learning experience*~ than I was looking for, “live and learn” is preferable to either of the alternatives.
There are things that are going our way. The weather is perfect for a day of unnecessary exertions: cool and cloudy, but not humid or rainy. Our inn room is very nice. The inn itself is very nice. And of course the town is nice.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.
So, next weekend is WisCon. WisCon as a con officially begins Friday afternoon of Memorial Day Weekend, though there are some programming items the night before.
We’ve gotten in the habit of heading to Madison on Wednesday ever since the fateful year when I booked the airline tickets for the wrong day. We realized this literally the day before, and even with the desperate scramble to get there and get lodging we found the experience more relaxing than normal, with extra decompression/rest time between the stress of travel and the excitement of the con.
This year, we’re trying to avoid flying as much as possible, and Sarah’s got some work stuff that would stop her from traveling on Wednesday, so Jack and I (who have more flexible schedules) are taking the train. This means leaving earlier, since that’s an overnight thing, which pushes our departure till Tuesday.
Our nearest train station is in historic Harpers Ferry, which is also a national park. We’ve never traveled from this station before, and we both kind of get stressed out about new experiences, so in order to minimize the rush/stress on day of travel and avoid having to get our luggage from the parking lot of the visitor’s center to the downtown on the same day, we’re arriving the day before and spending the night in a historic inn right across from the train station, which pushes our departure to Monday, for a con that officially starts Friday.
Our train takes us to Chicago. I’ve trained through Chicago about four or five times, so I sort of know the score there, but we’re transferring to a bus that contracts with Amtrak to get us the rest of the way. It’ll only last 3-4 hours, but
So the next few days are going to be a mix of relaxing/fun stuff and stressful/anxiety-ridden stuff. I’m pretty sure the good will outweigh the bad. My plan is to update this blog every day during at least the trip part of the trip, since I’ll have time at each step, and since a good way to get back in the habit of blogging regularly is to do it under even irregular circumstances.
I have been heavily boosting WisCon this year on Twitter since last WisCon, and I have heard from several people who are coming for the first time, a few who are even coming in part because I encouraged them. Yay. Accordingly, tomorrow I’ll be posting my official WisCon event schedule (it’s light this year, in no small part because one of them is a *big* event), and some tips for finding/interacting with me.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.
♣ Nirvana in Fire: MORE FIX-ITS/ALTERNATE REALITIES I WANT TO ROLL AROUND IN!
- In Time, Once Again (English translation), MCS/Jingyan
- Lithograph, which is a more serious/feelsy followup to Palimpsest's hilarious setup, both MCS/Jingyan
- Woman King, Sword in Hand, aka EMPRESS NIHUANG with OT3!! ♥ (I wish there were more OT3 stories)
- in price, a pearl, MCS/Jingyan
♣ YOI: more things probably most of you have read & maybe a couple you haven't?
- Five Things Yuri Plisetsky Loves Very Loudly (and a quiet one who loves him back), maybe the most satisfying Otayuri I've read to date ♥
- here on the roof of the world, Viktuuri a la jibrailis, who is magic :D
- have you heard there's a rumour in st. petersburg (series), Viktuuri + various Russian skaters, aka one of my favorite things!
- Yuuri!!! on Floor, yet another satisfying alternate-sports world ♥
- If It's You, Viktuuri's media-related shenanigans
- Half a Chance, featuring a chain of love stories, inadvisable crushes, and Yuri figuring out his ~FEELINGS~ which is never not the best thing
- Victor Effing Nikiforov, ALL THINGS BANQUETFIC ARE GLORIOUS
- The Boy Who Watched, the secret fanboy life of Viktor Nikiforov? or something like it
- rose-colored boy, PHICHIT MY PRECIOUS ♥
- And Baby Makes Three, one of the very specific scenarios I find more entertaining than Viktuuri on their own
- Back and Forth, another cute (and illustrated!) Otayuri :D
The Democratic establishment was initially bent on ignoring him, considering the race a sure loss, while Republicans PACs poured millions to prop up their candidate, the cardboard cut-out plutocrat Gainforte. But Quist continued drawing huge crowds to his rallies, raised much more money via small donors than anyone expected him to, and the establishment and media finally started taking notice.
They're now calling this race a referendum on Trump's presidency and policies. I think they're right to characterize it this way. The GOP nominee Gainforte had previously run for governor in 2016. But at that time, he'd distanced himself from Trump, going so far as to refuse to attend Trump's rally. He lost the race for governor in a state that Trump won by 20 points. Now he's turned into a die-hard Trump booster, believing that no matter what happens, just like before, the majority of voters in his district will continue blindly supporting Trump, and tear down anyone who doesn't.
Strategists believe Gainforte holds a single-digit lead, but there have been no official polls done, and the margin of error going either way is high. A GOP loss could have a large impact on things such as the American Health Care Atrocity, Congress braking the country's slide to autocracy, etc. (It took a special election in 1974 to convince Washington that Nixon had become toxic.)
Anyway, I'm really hoping for a win, both because I think the candidate is amazing, and because of what it would mean.
You can donate to Quist's campaign here.
ETA: A group of 40 Montana writers distributed an insert in local Montana papers endorsing Quist. In their own words -- "In an unprecedented show of unity, more than forty of Montana’s best writers have gathered, in rapid response fashion, to write original essays and testimonials advocating for the protection of our public lands, and endorsing Democratic House of Representatives candidate Rob Quist’s position on this (literally) most common ground of issues."
It’s possible, even useful, to think of these places instrumentally: wild lands make for clean water which makes for good fishing which is good for tourism, etc. There are sound practical reasons to preserve our wilderness. But these are not my reasons. I want to be touched by mystery, to walk in a place that surpasses my idea of it, to not be in charge for once. I want to touch something greater than myself. And this is where it is.It's a brilliant collection.
Do I hug this person hello and goodbye, or not?
Social hugging! It's a thing! Yet, it is MOST DEFINITELY NOT A THING for a lot of people.
Here is how I, personally, navigate these situations. While this may not work perfectly for you, feel free to modify it for your own use.
If I want to hug a person hello or goodbye, I say to them, "Do we hug?" (Or, "do we hug hello?" etc.)
If they say "Yes, we hug!" then we do, indeed, hug.
If they say *anything else*, I back off and we do not hug.
If someone says to me, "do we hug?" and I *want* to, I say "yes, we hug!" and there is a hug.
If I do not want to hug this person at this moment, I say one of the following things, or something similar:
I don't recall us hugging
I'm not much of a hugger
I don't think we hug
Now's not a great time
Not that I know of
If the other person does not understand the soft no and moves in, I take a step back and say:
No thank you
I meant no
If my hug offer is rejected, I move into the next part of the conversation "It's great to see you! How have you been?" or "I'm so glad we talked, when's your next panel?" or something similar. If I have just rejected someone else's hug offer, same script. No apologies, no talking about feelings or misunderstandings, just move into the next phase of the social interaction.
I, personally, do not enjoy finding out later that I have made someone uncomfortable with my actions. I prefer clear communication BEFORE social hugging to try to avoid awkwardness afterwards. YMMV!
Well, it’s been a (metaphorical) trip, but I’m back. And about to go on a literal trip.
I’ve been pretty silent here on my blog and over on my Patreon page for the past few months, basically going back to when my late winter/early spring sickness tripped me up. Dealing with the backlog of boring but necessary technical stuff that built up over three-four weeks of feeling like death took a lot of time and energy, during which other stuff piled up, and life kept happening, for good or for bad.
While it has been a struggle keeping up, life has mostly been good. I’ve found a very interesting and unexpected niche as a social media pundit (not a pundit about social media, a pundit on social media) that is honestly doing better for paying my bills and contributing to the household than anything else I’ve done.
At popular request, I’ve tried a few ways of converting my social media observations to other formats for other platforms. None of them have really panned out. Twitter’s built-in Moments system breaks down on longer threads. The third-party solutions I’ve tried (Storify and Kanvz) also tend to become unworkable as threads grow. Even when they work, stopping to collate and curate my thoughts slows me down so much and keeps me always working on what happened yesterday or an hour ago (which in today’s climate are both equal to 100 million years) instead of taking in what’s happening now and looking towards where we’re going.
And because I can see the numbers, I also know: it’s not worth the effort. People tell me they’d be more inclined to share a collected link than a Twitter thread, but the numbers say the opposite is true. Twitter threads are the most mobile medium of thought on the internet, because each element within them can be shared separately and sharing any one element drags the whole thing along.
They’re unfamiliar to people, which causes reactions of “What is this?” and “Ugh, if it takes more than one tweet it’s not worth seeing on Twitter.” But those are problems that will be solved with time and exposure.
I made a valiant stab at accommodating people at this, but the tools aren’t there and the time’s not worth it. So I’m going back to my old standby of when people ask “Can you put this in a format I can link to on Facebook?” of pointing out that you can link to a Twitter thread just fine on Facebook, or anywhere else. The link to the first tweet is the link to the thread. That’s what makes it a thread.
I am sorry to disappoint everyone who appreciates other formats, but… I’ve got to go with what works. Threads work. Collations get shared less. Blog posts get shared least of all. That’s the world we live in, and I can’t pretend otherwise just because it seems counter-intuitive.
So, my big new project that I was so excited about before I got sick, Secret Sisterhood of Superheroes? There have been technical hold-ups on that, too, but we’ve cleared those hurdles and now we’re ready to launch. As mentioned up-post, I’m going on a trip. Next weekend is Memorial Day, which means it’s WisCon. I had already planned on throwing a party for the 10th anniversary of launching Tales of MU (June 7th, 2007), with a more expansive theme of serial web fiction in general… now that I have a new serial to launch it’s also the launch party for that.
On May 28th, the prologue for Secret Sisterhood will go live at http://www.
Secret Sisterhood is more ambitious than anything else I’ve published, on multiple levels, and getting it off the ground has consumed me. My other fiction projects have definitely fallen by the wayside, not so much because it took me a long time to write the story (that was the quick and easy part!) but because of everything else that’s going into giving it the launch it deserves. I will be resuming posting other fiction things in the next few weeks as well.
Changes in Approach
First, if you’re reading this on Facebook: I’m going to be phasing out the cross-posting between my blog and (t)here very soon. It’s part of a change to how I approach social media. Facebook doesn’t display blog posts with all the same formatting (pictures, links, etc.) that I give them, which sometimes makes posts unintelligible or completely alters the context. I’m also trying to get away from my personal Facebook acting as a professional platform. Honestly, one of the reasons I don’t post here more is that some of the times one of my posts blows up on Facebook it winds up being more of a drag than a boost.
I might set it up to post links on Facebook, but I’m not even sure I want to do that. The key thing here is: I don’t have comments turned on for my blog, but I don’t think I can stop people from commenting on Facebook. I don’t care if people are discussing my work. I hope they are. I just really don’t want or need to know about it.
Second, I’ve been rethinking how I handle my Patreon. I keep making plans for what to post there, how often, etc., that fall apart because the next month, the world and I are both in completely different places than they were when I laid the plans down. I just can’t keep up with it. I’ve tried putting together my newsletters but the personal plans are obsolete and the political stuff would be old news by the time they go out.
So the new plan is going to be almost but not completely unplanned. Like, I will make plans from month to month. I’ll plan out what I’m doing in my day and week. But I won’t be trying to fit a formula for an entire year, or an ongoing basis.
The big advantage of being a “solo operator” is that I’m quick and nimble and can change what I’m doing to fit the situation and my needs. So that’s what I’m going to be doing.
Rather than take the ailing newsletter notion off life support, though, I’m going to change my approach to it. I’m neither going to be reproducing everything I’ve written/published (instead I’ll get better about round-ups and links and cross-posts to Patreon).
Instead I’m going to start keeping a journal of the month as I go. It’s a small change in perspective but a key one, because with a journal I’m not trying to shape a whole month into a narrative that still makes sense at the end of the month. Everything in the journal is dated to begin with, so it can’t “become dated”.
I’m starting it today. Obviously the one for May is going to be short. I want to start it now, though, because 1) I want to be in the habit when the first full month starts, and 2) I am about to go on a train trip and attend a con, so there’ll be interesting experiences to record.
Looking Backwards and Forwards
Last year about this time, I was in pretty bad shape. My Patreon was floundering. My creative output was nil. My career, such as it was, felt like it had been circling the drain since my life was upended years ago by a series of events and it was about to go down.
I tried to kick things into gear by proclaiming a Year of Awesome from my 36th birthday (a perfect square year) and my 37th birthday (a prime year). I had big, bold plans for what I was going to do each and every month within that year.
That… didn’t work out.
And I’ve used up a lot of time and energy trying to dissect that and trying to figure out how I can do better, but it hit me recently:
I have had a year of awesome.
My Patreon’s more than doubled from last year, even though I haven’t been able to keep up specific frameworks and structures. And I’m making more money through other streams.
I didn’t write a short story every month, but the short stories I did write are phenomenal. Some of my best, some of my favorites. My reach on social media has octupled. I have been published in serious big time magazines and periodicals. I am friends with journalists and chat with honest-to-goodness celebrities. I’ve met U.S. Senators. Rosie O’Donnell gave me advice on how to deal with a sudden rush of attention. I was given an award for writing by George R.R. Martin. That I beat him for.
And people tell me every day that the work I’m doing on political stuff matters, that it helps them, that it
I haven’t really dwelled on much of this because I’ve been focused on what’s not happening, what I’m not doing, what I can’t do.
I don’t know what the next year is going to look like. We are living in troubled times, tumultuous times. My father, who has let me know he is immensely proud of what I’ve been doing, told me that times like these are made for people like me.
So I’m going to continue to play to my strengths, which I have to admit, are *not* in planning and *not* in follow-through. I live in the moment, I excel in the moment. Nimbleness and agility, thinking on my feet, following the muse and seeing where opportunity takes me.
That’s what my real Year of Awesome was about. And I think embracing that is going to make my next Year of Awesome better.
Originally published at Blue Author Is About To Write.
IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: The Professors have announced that as of today they will no longer be updating the comic on http://girlgeniuscomic.livejournal.com/
So if you'd like to discuss Girl Genius, comments are welcome here!
The power is Paris is completely out, and the only illumination is from starlight ...
(And does anyone recognize those stars?! Hmmmm ...)
her contract in her current job might not be renewed - for various reasons, she's kind of upset, her immediate supervisor and mentor are both pretty upset too. But she also is kind of relieved, because her current job requires teaching and research - and she doesn't actually think she likes research so much. Without the renewing of her contract, she's open to getting into a teaching-only tract, or others.
But the real crux of the post today is ,I asked her if she'd told mum.
She said she hadn't. She said she'd only tell her after she had figured out what to do next and made a start or had new options ready for her.
And isn't it just like when I had my issue with the PhD? I asked my sister why, and she said, well, mum hasn't worked for so long, so her advice isn't.... relevant.
Which is so true.
I added, Yeah and it's also more like her advice is more for herself than for us isn't it?
And my sister agreed.
While I'm not sure i can pinpoint exactly where and why none of us trust my mum to give us proper emotional support at critical big things like this, I also remember when I had my PhD crisis. My mum asked me how I felt, and I remember seeing her AVID gaze, how eager she was to - to hear how I felt.
really vampiric, now that I think about it.
Like she really wanted to consume and feel my feelings vicariously. I remember strugglign to come up with an appropriate sort of feeling I could put into words that was both truth-ful, but also willign to share without losing too much of myself. It felt weird and I wanted to end the conversation as quickly as possible.
The more I think about it, my mum really is pretty narcissistic, isn't she?
Emotionally vampiric, no proper emotional support... she's going to throw a fit when my sister reveals she's figured out her own options without her, I think.
Or maybe not - My sister IS the golden child after all. she might not accuse my sister of Not Coming to her when she needed help, like she did when I had my PhD crisis.
(As if mum has any real knowledge of how academia works - she can't give any damn advice on finding supervisors than I already had/knew And she hasn't worked for more than 25 years - she sure as fuck won't have any decent relevant advice for my sister on jobs either)
I'm arriving sometime Thursday night and will be leaving sometime Monday afternoonish (I think). I intend for it to be a chill WisCon, in which I attend panels & livetweet (from my writer account, though), but I will be one of the models at the live drawing workshop. If you have modeling tips (clothes are staying on), I'd appreciate them as I'm still putting together my 15 poses. As of right now, I have...one.
Meanwhile, I've finished the 8 classes in Watercolour Basic, and will start Intermediate 1 in 2 weeks.
Have a sketch, using Single Vanishing Point!
I'll do a wash of it later; it's in this rather nice sketchbook i got from Tokyu Hands. While most advice on watercolours all say "use 300+gsm paper" and so on, so far I've found that made in Japan papers meant for watercolours are actually quite lightweight. Sure they warp, and maybe they don't have good a tolerance for many layers of washes, but they don't warp as dramatically as the thick paper (for some reason)and they're thin enough that just the weight of the book or being put against a cardboard backing is enough to straighten them out (like for watercolour postcards).
It means i can carry a few sheets around in my watercolour palette, and the sketchbook is actually pretty thin.
Then agian i don't know if I can paint double sided, so that's just a trial.
I used Platinum's carbon desk pen to outline/sketch detail, with blue pigment ink. I would have used the carbon ink except I'd swapped it out to test the platinum's blue pigment ink and it takes a long while to use up ink in this pen.
Besdies the blue colour, the sketching/outline is very nice, and I can get pretty damned detailed. I should have used it in the class for my perspective/vanishing point session, except i forgot to bring it, so had to use the irritatingly fat marker.
PREVIOUSLY, I painted
This was landscape painting, based on a photo I took of a cliff side near Oumikawa Station in Niigata Prefecture, Japan, late last year, during my trip into the field for gathering data...
This I painted in class last week, with the terrible marker. It looked kind of terrible. :|
Trying out the sketchbook, first page, with the reference photo. I think it's in HK. It's better than the previous, but i'm handling the colours poorly. I should have just washed everything over, before painting the windows, I guess.
Menu at the Tokyo Ghoul cafe.
Via Crunchyroll: Animage's survey results from almost 35 years of Japan's favorite anime leading men. As a Saint Seiya fan, I snickered at 1987. Is anyone surprised that Reiga is Shulato's most popular character? Gintama remains a favorite after a nine-year break.
A friend came over for dinner tonight, so I tidied the living room and dining room before she got here, and did the dishes after. Now everyone's asleep and the house is tidy and the dryer is humming and it's so peaceful. We had really good conversation, full of belly laughs and deep feelings, and the late-night calm is the perfect counterpart to an exuberant evening.
Everyone's mostly asleep, anyway. Kit's working up to unassisted walking, and that tends to come with sleep disruption. They've been whimpering in their sleep a lot, and sometimes fully waking up. They don't generally need anyone to come in—they're a pro at self-soothing to sleep, and very good about doing it on their own if they can—but it's clearly not super restful sleep, and they've been pretty tired during the day.
All the adults in the house have also been sleeping badly. This morning I went to bed at 5, woke up at 8, and then went back to sleep and had a really horrifying nightmare about the end of the world. ( TW for solar apocalypse ) And then I woke up going ????????. Eventually I went back to sleep and had another dream about going around the city with some friends I hadn't seen in a while, and that dream also tried to turn into a nightmare (about it being our last hurrah before I died of heart disease that I'd allowed to go untreated) and I refused to let it. I don't often have conscious control of my dreams but for that one I explicitly would not let the scarybad storyline happen. So that wasn't terrible, at least, but it was not what one would call a restful night.
And J's had awful insomnia, and Kit's whimpering sets off the monitor and wakes X up. J and I have suggested giving up the monitor altogether, because if Kit actually yelled X would hear it through their bedrooms' shared wall, but X doesn't think it's time for that yet, so I think we're going back to me turning their monitor on when I go to bed, rather than them having it on all night. Anything that helps any of us sleep is a good thing.
I'm going to do the last of my chores and get to bed; I have Kit-time tomorrow afternoon while X and J have a date, and it'd be nice to get up early enough for some family time before that starts. Maybe if I go to bed a little earlier, I'll sleep better. Stranger things have happened.
When the Castle is telling Gil about Robur, it says he destroyed the device, banished the 'angels', and had pie.
Van Rijn's book says that not all the beings were banished, and Robur turned the device over to the Corbettes; the visuals show the Dreen following them, along with Robur having pie. A hundred years later, Van Rijn found the remains of Robur's device, and started doing his own time stuff.
This could be a difference in narrative detail. But, given that time stuff is at play, I wonder if it's an actual divergence, somehow squashed into one: the Castle remembers a time when everything was tied up, but Van Rijn's on a timeline where he followed a loose end.
Dunno, just a speculation.
Either way, I figure Robur must have, after enough pie, thought "what if someone else invents this?" and enhanced the Castle to be resistant to time stops, despite his fears. And kept that hidden from Higgs. (And maybe added something to the Cathedral, too, those rituals to protect three dimensional space...)
Side question: how did Van Rijn freeze Andronicus in time for 200 years without attracting "angels"? Improved technique? Small scale? Deal with the Dreen?
Side note: the whole thing confirms that the Castle was an intelligent 'clank' long before the Muses. Just another part of "your cutting edge research was discovered by a Heterodyne centuries ago".
Ama Patterson, a dear fan and attender of WisCon died on May 1st. I know that Ama will be remembered at the Carl Brandon party that Friday, but I'm also wondering if there is an official "In Memorium" that happens at Wiscon?
I ask this because around this time last year (June 2), another friend, Elle Plato, died, and I was looking for a way to honor her at WisCon. I believe she did some lockpicking demos during the Gathering a couple of years ago. Please feel free to inbox me directly. Thanks!
Well, that didn't take long!
I notice that Agatha and Da Boyz don't seem favorably impressed. And where is Tarvek?
Regarding the crown, I wonder when the fewmets will hit the windmill?